South Slope. Asheville.

Friday, September 26, 2014

What does it mean to be free?

Not too long ago, in an e-mail exchange with someone from my home region who is a self-made millionaire, we talked a bit about freedom and what it means and how you can get it.  In our short exchange, he pointed out (rightly) that I have had some early advantages that have enabled me to "go out into the world."  And I would just add, that it - my particular passion - was something I seized, but not necessarily with confidence or vigor, certainly not at first.  Yet thinking about doing something isn't the same as acting on it.  And I feel happy that I acted.

Below is the bit he and I shared.  Although we're easily a generation apart, we have significant common interests and, more importantly, the respect for one another that comes from recognizing and acknowledging what we have in common.

Him:  One is never truly free until he has financial freedom. I became my own boss.  However, nothing lasts forever, and we all leave this world with nothing in our pockets. It is more important what a man does than how much he has.

Me:  I think you're right about money helping people really being free.  Financial freedom is surely one big way to be free.  Still, there are those whose minds aren't free.  And, there are lots of people with money but they lack so much in other areas.  Happiness is very elusive for many people.  In the end, I think personal satisfaction comes from being true to yourself.  That in itself is a challenge.  There's so much pressure from family, community, nation, religion, etc. to be molded into something you're not rather than be encouraged to do your own thing and be your own person.   

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